An opportunity to transform Oregon’s budget
By Oregon Transformation Project
A 10.6 percent unemployment rate, a state budget that has grown 49 percent in the past four years, a staggering high school dropout rate, lagging per capita income, only two Fortune 500 companies and a growing reputation for being anti-business. What more could go wrong for Oregon? According to revenue forecasts for the next state budget cycles, plenty. In the face of plummeting revenues and skyrocketing costs, and recognizing the dim prospects for a quick economic turnaround, the Oregon Transformation Project was created to help all Oregonians face these daunting problems squarely.
Co-chaired by Allen Alley and Rep. Dennis Richardson, Oregon Transformation is a joint project of the House and Senate Republican Caucuses. On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Alley and Richardson announced the opening of the project’s new website, www.oregontransformation.com. On the site, all Oregonians can now access budget information about every agency of state government in a concise, easy-to-use format.
The site is designed to inform and educate and to invite research and discussion on the state’s budget problems. With a simple click, users can offer their solutions to cut spending and streamline costs.
“The numbers are daunting, and the outlook may seem discouraging, but we’ve got to get Oregon’s spending under control,” said Alley, “and we will get it done with everyone’s participation. People inside government, office managers, teachers, highway workers, business owners, these are the people with the solutions because they are the ones who have seen the problems firsthand.”
Legislators are already using the site to create Budget Reduction Opportunity documents (BROs), formal, researched spending cuts and budget solutions, which will be compiled and presented to legislators and to both candidates for governor.
“In the heat of the campaign cycle, most campaigns are focused on key issues, on debates and speaking appearances. But on November 3, it will be time for real data-driven solutions,” said Richardson. “It will be time to present a balanced budget. This project and this website were created to help that process get a significant jump start, with concrete suggestions for balancing the budget.”